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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:19 June 09, 2020

The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday.

(4th LD) N.K. refuses to answer calls from S. Korea at noon after vowing to sever all phone lines

SEOUL -- North Korea did not answer daily phone calls from South Korea via liaison and military hotlines on Tuesday after vowing to cut off all inter-Korean communication lines in anger over anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent from the South.

The decision to sever all phone lines at noon Tuesday was the latest in a series of angry protests the communist nation has made since last week while blasting Seoul for failing to stop North Korean defectors from sending propaganda leaflets criticizing Pyongyang's leadership.

(LEAD) S. Korea 'closely communicating' with U.S. about N.K. decision to sever all inter-Korean phone lines

SEOUL -- South Korea is closely consulting with the United States about North Korea's decision to sever all communication channels with the South, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

"Yes, we are closely communicating with the U.S. side at all times. I believe such communication is one of the foreign ministry's major roles," ministry spokesperson Kim In-chul said when asked if Seoul discussed the current situation with Washington and Beijing.

Cheong Wa Dae plays it low-key over N. Korea's threat of cutting all lines of communication

SEOUL -- The office of President Moon Jae-in refused Tuesday to issue its own statement on North Korea's officially stated threat to sever all inter-Korean communication channels and regard South Korea as an enemy.

"The government has already expressed its position (on the matter) via the Ministry of Unification," a Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters.

(3rd LD) S. Korea faces growing risk of virus spike in greater Seoul, cluster infections in focus

SEOUL -- South Korea is teetering on the brink of losing momentum in its virus fight, as cluster infections in the Seoul metropolitan area could fuel further community spread amid eased social distancing, health authorities warned Tuesday.

The country added 38 new cases, including 35 local infections, raising the total caseload to 11,852, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). It marked daily new cases of below 40 for the second straight day, and a decrease from 57 cases a day earlier and 51 on Saturday.

(3rd LD) Court rejects arrest warrant for Samsung heir Lee in succession probe

SEOUL -- A court in Seoul early Tuesday refused to issue an arrest warrant for Samsung Group's de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, who is under investigation over succession-related allegations.

The Seoul Central District Court turned down the prosecution's request to put Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, behind bars, citing that there is not sufficient probable cause for his arrest.

(LEAD) S. Korean kidnapped by pirates off Gabon released: foreign ministry

SEOUL -- A South Korean national kidnapped off the coast of Gabon last month has been released unharmed, Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The man in his 50s was among six crew members abducted after unidentified pirates attacked their fishing boats near the Gabonese capital of Libreville in West Africa in early May.

Heat wave advisory issued for Seoul

SEOUL -- The season's first heat wave advisory was issued in Seoul on Tuesday, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), as the nation continues to grapple with scorching temperatures.

The KMA said the heat wave advisory was put into effect at 11 a.m. in eastern Seoul, marking the first heat wave advisory for the capital this year.

(LEAD) HDC wants to renegotiate Asiana acquisition due to increased debt

SEOUL -- HDC Hyundai Development Co., a major construction company here, on Tuesday called for a renegotiation with the creditors of Asiana Airlines Inc. over its planned acquisition of the country's No. 2 airline due to a sharp rise in debts and the growing impact of the new coronavirus on the airline industry.

In December, HDC Hyundai Development formed a consortium with major financial group Mirae Asset Daewoo to sign a deal to acquire a 30.77 percent stake in Asiana from Kumho Asiana Group, as well as new shares to be issued and Asiana's six affiliates, for 2.5 trillion won (US$2.2 billion).

(LEAD) Seoul stocks extend rally to 8th session, won sharply up

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed higher Tuesday, extending a winning streak to an eighth consecutive session on hopes for economic recovery and ahead of the Fed meeting this week. The Korean won sharply rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 4.63 points, or 0.21 percent, to close at 2,188.92. Trading volume was high at about 805.3 million shares worth some 14.5 trillion won (US$12.1 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 473 to 366.

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